[lit-ideas] Re: E Mail and Schopenhauer's "The Art of Being Proved Right"

  • From: Henninge@xxxxxxxxxxx (Richard Henninge)
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 13:14:13 +0200

Recent late controversies on this list make the final words in
Schopenhauer's "The Art of Being Proved Right" ring prophetic:

 The only safe rule, therefore, is that which Aristotle mentions in the last
chapter of his Topica: not to dispute with the first person you meet, but
only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess
sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to
appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to
it; and, finally, to cherish truth, to be willing to accept reason even from
an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong,
should truth lie with him. **From this it follows that scarcely one man in a
hundred is worth your disputing with him.** You may let the remainder say
what they please, for every one is at liberty to be a fool - desipere est
jus gentium. Remember what Voltaire says: La paix vaut encore mieux que la
verite. Remember also an Arabian proverb which tells us that on the tree of
silence there hangs its fruit, which is peace.

Even the last line, with its Arabian proverb, returns us to the German verb
(schweigen) encountered in Wittgenstein's final sentence from the Tractatus:
"Am Baume des Schweigens hängt seine Frucht der Friede." "Upon the tree of
remaining silent hangs its fruit--peace."

Wittgenstein: 7. Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.
"Of that of which one cannot speak, of that one must remain silent."

Hoping that that "one man [or woman] in a hundred ... worth ... disputing
with" is on this list, I remain

Richard Henninge
University of Mainz

----- Original Message -----
From: "P.H.Lundbech" <3212234@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, May 16, 2004 9:26 AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: E Mail and Schopenhauer

> On Sat, 15 May 2004 22:15:29 EDT, JulieReneB@xxxxxxx wrote:
> >Please tell me those are available in English, Spanish, or French....
> >Julie Krueger
> >hapless with the Germanic languages
> I will not exactly recommend any translation of Schopenhauers
> work - one should avoid translations of German philosophers into
> English for many reason.=20
> What I would like to recommend is that you do what Borges did -
> learn German. But since I have a feeling that's not going to
> happen, I'll just mention that there is a Oxford UP translation
> of Parerga & Paralipomena 2 vol. trans by E. F. Payne (1985).
> And I have just discovered an online edition of "Die Kunst, Recht
> zu behalten" (The Art of Controversy?) in both German and English
> (thanks to the excellent http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/)
> The english translator is kind enough to inform his not so
> intelligent readers "The intelligent reader will discover that a
> good deal of its contents is of an ironical character." That is
> certainly true, so this may not be the best introduction to
> Schopenhauer. But a must read, certainly!=20
> http://www.coolhaus.de/art-of-controversy/

> P. H. Lundbech
> Odense, DK

To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: